2 pilots killed in central Iran after Chinese-made F-7 crashes during training


May 24 (UPI) — Two Iranian miliary pilots were killed on Tuesday when their Chinese-made fighter jet crashed during a training exercise, officials said.

The pilots were flying an F-7 when it went down in central Iran, state-run media reported.


The plane was participating in a shooting exercise when it crashed near Anarak, which is located about 220 miles southeast of Tehran.

The pilots were identified as Maj. Qasem Zamani and First Lt. Mohammad Javad Bai.

“This fighter jet faced technical issues during the training operation and crashed,” Isfahan Deputy Gov. Mohammad Reza Jan-Nesari said, according to Al Jazeera.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known.

Tuesday’s was the second crash of an Iranian fighter jet in three months. A U.S.-made F-5, which was bought by Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, crashed into a school stadium in Tabriz in February, killing two pilots and a civilian.

Iran has a rather poor air safety record, mainly due to its aging fleet of military planes and difficulty in finding spare parts for repairs.

Before the Islamic revolution, the United States also sold several F-14 fighter jets to Tehran. The F-14 was made famous by the 1986 blockbuster film Top Gun.


Iran’s military is the only country that still flies the F-14s today after the U.S. Navy retired its fleet in 2006 and destroyed the remaining planes to prevent their parts from falling into Iranian hands.